Artisanal techniques: fabric dyeing

Technique of fabric dyeing has been known to mankind for 30 thousand years. There were different methods of dyeing in ancient cultures which due to gradual discovery of the world of a man began to be applied everywhere. Dyeing plants providing the highest quality, durability and beauty of coloring were selected from the great variety of flora by the practice of dyeing.

More often, the natural dyes were obtained from dried natural materials by boiling in water. Colors depending on the complexity of the shade had the symbolic meanings and were divided into social strata. Yellow and brown shades were the most simple: fabric boiled with different grass, roots or leaves which gave the very persistent color. Red and blue colors were the most popular and only the higher social classes could wear them. Purple or royal color was extracted from Mediterranean shellfish. Less durable red shades were made from carmine and madder. Blue shades were extracted from plants of India and called as indigo; it remained the only persistent dye until the end of the XIX century. 

Moreover, there are ways to dye not the whole fabric, but make patterns. The technique of resist dyeing is the most popular. Fabric in a certain way contracted, bandaged and then it dyed. Such technique was known in Japan (shibori), India (bandana) and was widely spread to the West in 60th years of XX century called as «tie-due».